Nathan Davidson is a semi-retired band director and music teacher who has been involved with music for over 35 years. He is currently an adjunct music instructor at RCTC. He plays saxophone, trumpet, and guitar in the Polka Dots, the Rutabaga Brothers Blues Band, the CBB Jazz Combo, and the Lost Faculties.
Nathan is the founding member of the Lost Faculties, and the band will be celebrating their 20 year anniversary this fall. The group formed as a bit of a joke for the Kasson-Mantorville homecoming in 1997. The plan was to have student ‘air bands’ perform on stage and then bring out a legitimate band after that. Just for the fun of it, four faculty members from Kasson-Mantorville teamed up and learned a few songs.
They kept being invited to play at various venues, so they decided to purchase more equipment and settle on a band name.
Although Nathan is in four different bands, he never once sought them out. Members of the Polka Dots asked him to play with them back in 1981. He was invited to play in the CBB Jazz Combo. Last summer, he sat in once with the Rutabaga Brothers Blues Band, and then the group kept asking him back after that.
1. Favorite local band or artist?
The Shift is really good band and always have a really good time. They are very tight and very well-rehearsed. They do their own music. They dress well. They look good and they sound good.
2. Most memorable Rochester gig experience?
The Polka Dots played at Mayo Civic Center when Garrison Keillor had a live radio show there. I thought Garrison Keillor was like a god, to be honest with you. I didn’t know if I should approach him or not. The Garrison Keillor aura just encompassed the room, but he took over the whole room in a very gentle way.
3. Favorite local hangout?
Michael’s was my favorite hangout. We played at that place many times. In fact, the CBB Jazz Combo played the last gig there. Everybody misses Michael’s.
4. Strangest thing you’ve ever seen an audience member do?
One time, a guy came up to me and asked if he could play my guitar. I asked him what kind of car he drove, and he told me. And then I said, “Can I take it for a drive?” I wasn’t trying to be a jerk; I was just trying to make a point that no, you cannot play my guitar.
5. What motivates you to keep playing music?
I dread the day that it has to end. I will be playing until I can’t play anymore. My grandma played piano until she was 96. I have nothing against sports, but musicians can play their instrument until they are 90 or 100 years old, but people cannot play football that long.
You can see Nathan with the CBB Jazz Combo at the Starlite Lounge in La Crosse on Friday, March 3. You can also see him with the Lost Faculties on Friday, March 10 at the Rochester VFW and on Friday, March 31 at the Eagles Club in Owatonna.